New Coupon Machine to Potentially Return to Fishbowl

Last week, a coupon machine was installed in the Fishbowl for students to obtain coupons for local businesses. However, the machine has since been removed to be altered and students seemed to be confused by what it was and how to utilize it.

"I've seen it, but I have no idea how to use it or what it's for," said Devon Lappin, a junior.

"That thing was a coupon machine?" said Brittany Meyer, a sophomore. "My friend and I took a good chunk of our day trying to figure out what that was and how it worked."

Questions from students began popping up on the Ramapo College Class of 2014 Facebook page as well.

David Romero posted a picture of the machine on the page with a caption that read, "What is this machine that was just installed near Student Affairs?"

Other students commented, equally puzzled.

"The machine is provided free of charge by the vendor, Pebbles Inc., and was arranged for as a replacement for a broken electronic sign board that was donated by the Class of 2008," said Anna Farneski, college spokesperson.

Pebbles Inc. is a sister company to American Crafts that specializes in scrapbooking and paper materials. They were founded in 1995, and recently began a new marketing campaign that involves sponsoring coupon machines at various locations.

"This interactive sign board dispenses discount coupons to local restaurants, salons and stores and plays video advertisements (which are where they get their income from)," said Farneski. 

Still, many students were not sure how the machine worked.

SGA Treasurer Stephanie Boehm, who was involved along with Pat Chang in getting the coupon machine at Ramapo, clarified further on the 2014 Facebook page.

"You can scan a pebbles card, view a short advertisement and a coupon/voucher to a local business will print. It's free to all students and no personal information is required!" said Boehm.

Unfortunately, many students have not even gotten a chance to try the machine for themselves.

"This past week there was no Internet connected to the machine," said Garrett McConville, a class of 2014 SGA representative. "I don't think many students have used it yet."

The coupon machine has already been taken down from the Fishbowl.

"The original unit that was installed in the Fishbowl was determined not to be ADA compliant," said Farneski. "It was jutting out further than the allowed four inches and could provide a problem for sight-impaired students. We are looking at a free-standing unit."

If all goes smoothly, the machine should be back up for students to use in the Fishbowl.

Even though students had not really gotten a chance to use the machine, many think it will be a great idea.

"I think it will encourage students to go out and explore the local area," said Lidia Kim, junior. "It might even get more people to stay on campus during the weekends because they know they will have something to do."

The added bonus is that students can go out to places they frequently visit or try some new places without breaking the bank.

"The unit provides a means of directly promoting the many stores and restaurants that the Student Government Association identifies as being part of the Roadrunner Advantage discount program," said Farneski.

Some of the places that are included in the program are Moe's, A&P, Shop Rite, Massage Envy and AMC, to name a few.

"It gives members of the Ramapo community a better idea of what is available to them in the Bergen County area in terms of dining and entertainment options," said Farneski.